Thursday, May 30, 2013

How Canadian Women Won the Vote (Hint: Democracy had little to do with it)

Well, this 'video-book'  is third draft of the STORY OF HOW CANADIAN WOMEN GOT THE VOTE.

It is in storyboard form and from a Montreal Point of View.

I am writing Sister Salvation about how the Reform-minded Maternal Suffragists of Montreal took over the movement there, or perhaps they just created a movement there, artificially.

Sister Salvation is the follow up to Threshold Girl.

Creating a story board is an excellent exercise.

Although I have spent a year or more researching the topic of the Montreal Suffragists, in books and scholarly papers and  in archives, this past week, while scripting this video I've seen some things afresh.

First of all, I realize that Miss Carrie Derick was cagey, a historical 'revisionist' and also a bit of a liar.

Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst got on the good side of history by 1) writing her own autobiography  in 1913 (while everything was going on) and by supporting the War.

Carrie Derick as well. She gave lectures and wrote articles  and virtually'created' the history of the suffrage movement in Canada herself.. and scholars, for the most part, have  taken her at her word.

I do believe she was the driving force behind making suffrage an issue in Montreal. No one really cared about it...except for her and maybe Mrs. Hurlbatt of Royal Victoria College. It's amazing what one person can do. She tied suffrage into the Municipal Elections and Municipal Reform.

She says in her histories that it was the Montreal Council that got the National Council to support suffrage, in 1910. (I will wait to read their side of things before believing her, but she dared say it at the National AGM in maybe it is true.)

Oddly, Carrie Derick wrote in 1915 in the Anniversary Book published to Commemorate the Montreal Council, that the Montreal Council of Women created an "Equal Suffrage League in 1913."

Well, the Equal Suffrage League was their rival. They were the Montreal Suffrage Association.

She wrote in a recap of the Suffrage Movement  that the Montreal Council of Women discussed the War Time Elections act but chose to say nothing.

Nonsense: They passed a resolution  saying the Montreal Council had never supported limited franchise and they wanted the |National Council to tell this to everyone.

She says in the same Anniversary issue that they started the Montreal Suffrage Association in reaction to Mrs. Pankhurst's speech. Scholars have taken this to mean she was inspired by Pankhurst, but it is a cagey line. Mrs. Pankhurst's speech did not go down well on the street, according to Therese Casgrain in her autobiography.

That doesn't make Derick's statement wrong.. In fact, I'm fairly certain the Montreal Council of Women started the Association to distance themselves from the issue... as their member organizations where getting upset.....(Dr. Adami says as much in a meeting. He doesn't want the Council to run the 1912 Child Welfare Exhibit because 'all they think about is suffrage'..which they never really did distance themselves as the two organizations had the same members. It was all very incestuous..)

It was Carrie Derick who proposed having Mrs. Pankhurst come to speak in the first place.

The fact is, you can't believe anyone in this story of HOW WOMEN GOT THE VOTE. But I think I've figured it out..

Monday, May 27, 2013

When (and how) did Canadian Women first Get the Vote? in 1917 - and by messing around with the word "democratic"

A slideshow summary of how Canadian Women won the Vote
We didn't learn this in History Class.

Which comes on the heels of a  1909 speech in Montreal
by moderate suffragist Ethel Snowden, 
the wife of a UK Member of Parliament,
who declared that women needed the vote 
to make the world a better place